Part two of a five-part article

Market research can be quantitative or qualitative.  Quantitative research is rational and delves into the minds of clients and potential clients.  It focuses on what, where and when.  It measures the incidence of views and opinions in a chosen sample.  It uses structured techniques such as online questionnaires, on-street interviews or telephone interviews.  It assumes a fixed and measurable reality that can be analyzed using and reported through statistics.

Qualitative research, on the other hand, delves into the value systems (hearts) of clients and potential clients. It focuses on the why and how of customer decision-making.   Its purpose is to gain an understanding of underlying reasons and motivations, and uncover trends.  It uses unstructured or semi-structured techniques such as face-to-face interviews or group discussions.  It assumed a dynamic and negotiated reality.  Data are analyzed by themes and reported in everyday language.

“To persuade and motivate, you need to understand both minds and hearts,” said Elkins.  “Marketing IQ must be combined with marketing EQ.  Qualitative research yields valuable data.  At the same time, quantitative or ‘values-based’ research is proving itself essential to understanding today’s dynamic and increasingly interactive marketplace."


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Strong trends energize law firm market research